Euthanisia ~ How do we compare to national average

by Lenny Leatherman -

The Humane Society of the United States states on their website that:

“In the 1970s, American shelters euthanized 12-20 million dogs and cats, at a time when there were 67 million pets in homes. Today, shelters euthanize around 4 million animals, while there are more than 135 million dogs and cats in homes.  This enormous decline in euthanasia numbers—from around 25 percent of American dogs and cats euthanized every year to about 3 percent—represents substantial progress. We will make still greater progress by working together to strike at the roots of animal overpopulation.”

How does the Weatherford/Parker County Animal Shelter’s kill rate compare to the national average? That’s not an easy question to answer without knowing precisely how the Humane Society made their calculations.

However, facts are stubborn things! And a fact that is seared into my mind that I cannot move past, is that we have people working for the city who can slaughter 30 to 40 helpless adoption ready puppies at one time and act as if all is well at the “shelter”.

I cannot look the other way and pretend that ‘all is well’ when it’s obviously not! We have a serious problem that cannot solve itself, and playing a ‘shell game’ with employees does nothing but exacerbate the problem and infuriate the public!  


Those of you who have been concerned about management at the Weatherford/Parker County Animal Shelter, may find ‘Health and Safety of Animals’ shown below to be of interest:


HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE

TITLE 10. HEALTH AND SAFETY OF ANIMALS

CHAPTER 823. ANIMAL SHELTERS

Sec. 823.001.  DEFINITIONS.  In this chapter:

(1)  “Animal shelter” means a facility that keeps or legally impounds stray, homeless, abandoned, or unwanted animals.

(2)  “Board” means the Texas Board of Health.

(3)  “Commissioner” means the commissioner of health.

(4)  “Department” means the Texas Department of Health.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 823.002.  EXEMPTION FOR CERTAIN COUNTIES, CLINICS, AND FACILITIES.  This chapter does not apply to:

(1)  a county having a population of less than 75,000;

(2)  a veterinary medicine clinic;  or

(3)  a livestock commission facility.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.  Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 280, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Sec. 823.003.  STANDARDS FOR ANIMAL SHELTERS;  CRIMINAL PENALTY.  (a)  Each animal shelter operated in this state shall comply with the standards for:

(1)  housing and sanitation existing on September 1, 1982, and adopted under Chapter 826; and

(2)  animal control officer training adopted under Chapter 829.

(b)  An animal shelter shall separate animals in its custody at all times by species, by sex (if known), and if the animals are not related to one another, by size.

(c)  An animal shelter may not confine healthy animals with sick, injured, or diseased animals.

(d)  Each person who operates an animal shelter shall employ a veterinarian at least once a year to inspect the shelter to determine whether it complies with the requirements of this chapter and Chapter 829.  The veterinarian shall file copies of the veterinarian’s report with the person operating the shelter and with the department on forms prescribed by the department.

(e)  The board may require each person operating an animal shelter to keep records of the date and disposition of animals in its custody, to maintain the records on the business premises of the animal shelter, and to make the records available for inspection at reasonable times.

(f)  A person commits an offense if the person substantially violates this section.  An offense under this subsection is a Class C misdemeanor.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1331, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 823.005.  ADVISORY COMMITTEE.  (a)  The governing body of a county or municipality in which an animal shelter is located shall appoint an advisory committee to assist in complying with the requirements of this chapter.

(b)  The advisory committee must be composed of at least one licensed veterinarian, one county or municipal official, one person whose duties include the daily operation of an animal shelter, and one representative from an animal welfare organization.

(c)  The advisory committee shall meet at least three times a year.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 823.007.  INJUNCTION.  A court of competent jurisdiction may, on the petition of any person, prohibit by injunction the substantial violation of this chapter.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 823.008.  ENFORCEMENT BY COUNTY.  (a)  A county may enforce this chapter.

(b)  This section does not authorize a county to establish standards for operating an animal shelter.

(c)  A county may not enforce this chapter at an animal shelter operated by a municipality.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 924, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Sec. 823.009.  CIVIL PENALTY.  (a)  A person may not cause, suffer, allow, or permit a violation of this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter.

(b)  A person who violates this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter shall be assessed a civil penalty.  A civil penalty under this chapter may not be less than $100 or more than $500 for each violation and for each day of a continuing violation.  This subsection does not apply at an animal shelter operated by a municipality.

(c)  If it appears that a person has violated, is violating, or is threatening to violate this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter, the county or municipality in which the violation occurs may institute a civil suit in district court for:

(1)  injunctive relief to restrain the person from continuing the violation or threat of violation;

(2)  the assessment and recovery of the civil penalty; or

(3)  both injunctive relief and the civil penalty.

(d)  A bond is not required in an action brought under this section.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 924, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

   Additional information may be seen at Texas Department of State Health Services.

About these ads

11 responses

  1. “How does the Weatherford/Parker County Animal Shelter’s kill rate compare to the national average? That’s not an easy question to answer without knowing precisely how the Humane Society made their calculations. ” It won’t be easy to figure out even with the proper Humane Society calculations, until the City of Weatherford “precisely”
    states what their “TRUE” intake numbers and live release rates.

    The Weatherford/Parker County Animal shelter’s goal as stated in a document on the City’s web page is a 90% live release rate. That goal is a long way from where they are now. When does the city plan to compete that 90% goal..that is not stated. What use is setting a goal if there is no goal completion date. Does the city have the right shelter director and staff to perform the hard work it will take to obtain a 90% live release rate?..or will they be typical “government workers” and do the least possible and still collect a pay check as in the past. Thereby making a 90% goal just more City bloviation.

  2. I must question the stats in the first paragraph. If the US were at a 3% kill rate, there would be no reason for the No Kill Revolution, which is getting high kill shelters like Weatherford to switch to No Kill goals (of 90% or more getting out alive). So if we are already at 10% or as the stat mentioned, 3%, there would be no reason for a no kill movement. This site stated in 1997 the kill rate was about 64%, which I find more accurate.

    The stats at WPCAS may have been great in the past few years due to the tremendous work and dedication of Parker Paws volunteers who held low cost spay and neuter clinics several times a week knocking out 30 more surgeries in a day (the TCAP clinic last week did only 10, and that will only be once per month), off site adoptions, fostered animals to buy them more time and networked endless hours on computers and over the phone. With that group being gone and all volunteers suspended, you can see those great numbers we had in recent years are sure to decline without the FREE labor work force they ran off.

    Their main saving grace now is transferring 20,30,even 50 of our healthy adoptable pets to Fort Worth Animal control where they (if they dont get sick and be put down there in two days) may end up for adoption at one of two petsmart adoption centers, if they dont get sick there and get sent back to FWACC to be killed. But it sure makes the live release rates (LRR) at WPCAS look good when they can transfer huge numbers of adoptable pets to this very very sick shelter. (The reason they are coming to WPCAS is they dont have enough healthy animals at their shelter due to poor shelter conditions).

    If I give Daniel’s credit for anything at all, I will give her credit for running a clean disease free shelter for the most part. Of course now with vet gone, they have had numerous cases of Parvo, which much of could have been prevented with a smart knowledgeable vet who could isolate puppies and vaccinate them and be sure they were ready for adoption, as Dr. Kaiser attempted to do last Dec. However, those puppies were killed. Why was not one rescue group called? Why was Parker Paws not told to get their fosters up there to help? I believe it was a power play, trip. That’s all. Someone inappropriately asserting authority for no good reason, except she could. No one was holding her accountable, until now.

    http://www.americanhumane.org/animals/stop-animal-abuse/fact-sheets/animal-shelter-euthanasia.html

    1. Lenny Leatherman | Reply

      Lee Ann, please clarify comments in your first paragraph in which you said, “I must question the stats in the first paragraph.” The first paragraph to which you refer is clearly identified as being from the Humane Society of the United States, and not comments that I made.

      You also said in the same paragraph, “This site stated in 1997 the kill rate was about 64%, which I find more accurate.” This site (www.parkercountyblog.com) made no statement to that effect. Aren’t you again referring to information from the Humane Society of the United States’ website?

      Lee Ann, I admire your tenacity and your determination to help improve the shelter. Please don’t view my remarks as criticism. They are intended only to clarify quotes as to their origin.

  3. The initial blogger posted The following:

    The Humane Society of the United States states on their website that:

    “In the 1970s, American shelters euthanized 12-20 million dogs and cats, at a time when there were 67 million pets in homes. Today, shelters euthanize around 4 million animals, while there are more than 135 million dogs and cats in homes. This enormous decline in euthanasia numbers—from around 25 percent of American dogs and cats euthanized every year to about 3 percent—represents substantial progress. We will make still greater progress by working together to strike at the roots of animal overpopulation.”

    The 3 % figure is misleading. It seems the USHS is comparing 1970’s era data with when ever that website was created or statement west written

    From the ASPCA website http://www.aspca.org/about-us/faq/pet-statistics.aspx

    Approximately 5 million to 7 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and approximately 3 million to 4 million are euthanized (60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats). Shelter intakes are about evenly divided between those animals relinquished by owners and those picked up by animal control. These are national estimates; the percentage of euthanasia may vary from state to state.

  4. Sorry for my typo’s in my post above:

    The site I was referring to with 1997, 64% kill rate was the link I posted above from americanhuman.org

    When I was speaking of Parker Paws sponsored Low cost spay neuter clinics, they were held several times per MONTH (not week as I said by mistake) and those clinics had 30 or more surgeries done in a day, vs TCAP’s recent 10 surgeries in one month. That’s a huge difference of what was done then vs what is being done now.

    I regret the errors.

  5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-kill_shelter#United_States

    Another source regarding US statistics sites:

    United States

    In 1994, the City of San Francisco popularized the trend towards No-kill shelters. The San Francisco SPCA, led by President Richard Avanzino who would later become the President of Maddie’s Fund, along with the San Francisco Department of Animal Care and Control guaranteed a home to every “adoptable” dog and cat who entered the shelter system.[21] Since then the city of San Francisco (the SPCA along with the Department of Animal Care and Control) has been able to keep San Francisco as a no-kill city. In 2007, the live release rate of all dogs and cats in the city of San Francisco was 82%.[22] In 2010, the live release rate of all dogs and cats in the city of San Francisco was 86%.[23].

    In 2001, Tompkins County, New York transitioned over a two-year period to a no-kill community.[24] The Tompkins SPCA, an open-admission shelter and animal control facility for Tompkins County, was instrumental in achieving this goal. Tompkins SPCA was able to achieve a live release rate of over 90% every year since then. Tompkins SPCA was able to achieve this while going from having a budget deficit to a budget surplus and was even able to raise millions of dollars to build a new cageless no-kill shelter.[25][citation needed] In 2006, 145 (6% of a total intake of 2353) dogs and cats classified as unhealthy or untreatable were euthanized.[26] In comparison, the national average rate of euthanasia in 2005 was 56%.[27]

    In 2005, the Charlottesville SPCA in Virginia began a two-year long transition to no-kill. The SPCA claimed a 92% save rate;[28] however statistics from 2007 show that this is no longer the case. In 2007, the shelter admitted 4079 dogs and cats of which 598 were euthanized, with an additional 200 who died at the shelter or were lost.[29]

    In 2007, the Nevada Humane Society in Reno, Nevada, began its transition to no-kill. By the end of 2009, the effort led to a community-wide save rate of 90% for dogs and 89% for cats.[30]

    In 2009, Shelby County, Kentucky, became the first no-kill community in Kentucky through a joint effort of the county shelter and the Shelby Humane Society.[31]

    In March 2010, the Austin City Council unanimously passed a resolution for the City’s open-admission shelter to achieve a 90% save rate of all impounded animals.[32] The City Council mandated, among other things, that the City shelter was prohibited from killing healthy, adoptable pets while there were empty cages at the shelter.[33] In August 2011, the City celebrated its highest save-rate month ever, in which the shelter saved 96% of all impounded animals.[34] Advocates in Austin give considerable credit to the non-profit shelter Austin Pets Alive! for helping increase the City’s save rate.[35]

    In May 2010, three communities announced a pact to become no-kill communities by guaranteeing homes for all healthy and treatable pets: Hastings and Rosemount, Minnesota, along with Prescott, Wisconsin.[36]

    In November 2010, the Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter, an open-admission shelter in Marquette, Michigan, announced that it had achieved no-kill status.[37]

    The Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah is a no-kill animal sanctuary providing homes for thousands of homeless pets. With financial help from Maddie’s totaling over $9 million spread over five years, they led a coalition of rescue groups called “No More Homeless Pets in Utah”. The goal of the coalition was to move the state of Utah closer to a no-kill community. In the period from 1999 to 2006, the organization reported that statewide adoption rate increased 39% while euthanasia rate dropped 30%.[38]

    The No-Kill Declaration, published by the No Kill Advocacy Center and Alley Cat Allies, defines many of the goals of no-kill sheltering. These organizations claim that over 30,000 US-based groups and individuals have signed this declaration.[39]

    Weatherford can go No Kill (reaching 90% or more getting out alive) and it can be done fairly quickly, in fact they were headed in that direction per Parker Paws and Dr. Kaiser implementing new ways of thinking and creating new programs for the community and the animals in the community. The biggest road faced, the missing piece of the no kill puzzle was having a compassionate director who shared like visions and goals. Period. Until that missing element in the No Kill equation changes, Weatherford will be a typical old fashioned dog pound.

    To learn more about No Kill and how it will actually SAVE tax dollars, read up:

    http://www.nokilladvocacycenter.org/

  6. Jack C. Pickard | Reply

    Someone has to ask these questions, so I will be the devils advocate. What is the cost to tax payers between a Kill and No Kill Shelter per Animal? Is No Kill financially conceivable for Parker County/Weatherford Shelter, will the Tax Payers be willing to pay more for these services. Have we investigated to see if a Contract Service like we use for housing Prisoners is a feasability? What can we get for the $436,000 paid by Parker County each years plus the amounts paid by the other entities that share in this shelter. By the way how Much does Weatherford budget each year out of its own funds for support of the shelter and not supplied by other agencies? When talking about costs lets use local numbers not some other agencies numbers that rarely have to do with reality here locally.
    Finally, where are the Written Contracts or Interagency agreements between the city, the county and Springtown and any other City in Parker County??? Why have they not been published yet for all to see. Thanks, I would expect some person in charge to be able to answer all of these questions by now, after at least 3 months of criticism.

    1. No Kill is cost-effective, fiscally responsible, and a great economic boon to local communities. Municipalities who want to enact good policy and improve the local economy should invest in lifesaving at their local shelter. Given the cost savings and additional revenues of doing so (reduced costs associated with killing, enhanced community support, an increase in adoption revenues and other user fees, and additional tax revenues), as well as the community economic impact of adoptions, a community cannot afford not to embrace No Kill.

      The Economic Benefits of No Kill Animal Control…. click here for a free pdf called Dollars and Sense: http://www.nokilladvocacycenter.org/whatsnew/

  7. Going No Kill will actually save money. When a city or county shelter decides to go no kill, they find that more people are willing to roll up their sleeves and help. FREE LABOR. Parker Paws already proved they were making a “pawsitive” difference, to the tune of $70,000.00 a year. As more church groups and neighborhood groups and businesses learn the shelter is trying hard to not kill, more will sponsor pets, more people will want to foster for non profit groups, more rescues will be contacted to help. And more will get out alive. Also, fewer will ENTER because of programs that can be put in place to HELP people who surrender due to circumstances they don’t know how to fix, ie: need assistance with dog food for temporary time, need help with behavior issues and so on. So if we can keep the dog from entering the shelter you have saved money right there.

    But it takes a compassionate shelter director whose goal is to kill less. A lot less. This person must take the initiative to make a way instead of making excuses. Look at Seagoville. Once Sgt. Karl Bailey took over their shelter, and made the decision to go no kill, they went from a 90% kill rate to a 90% save rate in a matter of months on what he calls a shoestring budget. The turned the gas chamber into a dog food storage area!

    Another statistic I learned at the No Kill workshop, was that for every dollar spent on low cost spay and neuter clinics held, approximately $10 will be saved by the shelter.

    Saving lives won’t cost more. Those vetted puppies that started this uproar….they could have been taken by Parker Paws volunteers to Petsmart and adopted at an off site adoption event, after all it was one of the busiest weeks for adoptions nationwide and instead of adopting our healthy pets at the shelter, the director chose to kill without notifying even one rescue to come help. All 26 of those puppies could have been adopted. These were animals the both TAX DOLLARS from the shelter and the non profit already spent money in vetting them…..they were killed instead….that money wasted money vetting them went in the trash. If they would have stayed at the shelter that week, they could have brought in ADOPTION money. They weren’t even given a chance at adoption. This is wrong and this is why so many are upset. This is the mindset that needs to END at this shelter. Even if this shelter was overcrowded (which eye witnesses say it was not) this killing could have been avoided completely and could have brought in revenue for the shelter instead of it being wasted, as government seems to be so good at, by throwing it away. http://www.nokilladvocacycenter.org/

  8. I was disturbed by a number that Ms. Hayes mentioned at the last City Council meeting. She said that only 20-40% are adopted from this shelter. That’s it????? How sad! We must do better than that! We need more people to show the city that we want them to work harder to adopt more and kill less. To learn how to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem, visit http://www.nokillweatherford.webs.com Be sure you look at the Links tab!

  9. UPDATE…..I believe the city mgr was saying back in Jan 2012 that the Live Release Rate was way up around 70% (that was with an active volunteer group at the shelter). Asst city mgr said around Easter the shelter’s goal was 90% LRR. Well, the stats for June are now online at city gov animal shelter pg, the LRR for June was a mere 35%. Every month without the volunteers there helping, the numbers have continued to declined. What will they be in July? 25% LRR?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 104 other followers

%d bloggers like this: